30 DECEMBER 1882, Page 14


rTO TUE EDITOR OF TUE " SF/TOTATOR."1 Sin,—A so-called Christmas card has come to me, endorsed " The Vicar's Cat." But poor " Puss "—once kindly received by the indulgent Spectator—has been dead this three weeks ; nor could her master and mistress wish otherwise, for life had grown so burdensome to her, that more than once I was urged to have her "put away." To that I could. not consent, unless I should do the thing with my own hands,—a course to which the reflection that " her last feeling would be that her master was cruel to her," seemed an objection insurmountable. She died, therefore, so to speak, in her bed, and has been sorrowed for with a sorrow not so diverse from sorrow for a human friend as, perhaps, it ought to have been. She had been little less than the prophet's poor man's lamb, which had " lain in his bosom, and had been to him as a daughter." Many a time had she seemed to be purring away her whole, poor, pussy's soul, in the happiness of trust and affec- tion, with which she was all full to overflowing. She will have no successor, for we should not wish to have another cat like her.

Now, Puss was as impersonal as Mr. St. George Stock's " God," she subpersonal, as It is superpersonal. But Mr. Stock does not seem to have noted that though the subpersonal must also be impersonal, the superpersonal may very well include personality, nay, if it does not include it, is thereby the less full and complete.

To Puss's felinity—" detur licentia sumpta pudeutissime "- my humanity, in the consciousness of its "I," was unknown and unknowable. But felinity, at least the highest part of it, is in- cluded in humanity. The human "I," indeed, transcends felinity altogether. And humanity exceeds felinity by the possession of sundry faculties which in the feline individual aro either absent, or present only in the germ. Still, there is in humanity a feline element. The man has a cat in him, and it is with this cat that the cat merely feline interchanges sympathy and com- munion. And so, be it said with reverence, God has a man in him, and with that divine man, that divine person, I, who am a human person, interchange sympathy and communion. It is Supposable, doubtless, that the Divine Individuality may have in it something transcending mere personality, as wholly as my human and personal individuality transcends poor Puss's feline impersonal individuality. And it is quite certain that the powers and faculties inherent in the divine individuality must outnumber and excel our human ones beyond all count and esti- mate. But the divine snperpersonality, if superpersonality there be, must comprehend personality ; and that comprehended Divine Personality it is which my human personality wants,— yes, and is wanted by it. The " ipsa suis pollens opibus, nilzil hzdigna nostri,"— " Nothing in us for them to feed on,

Nothing in us that they got need on,"

of the Lucretian Powers, is not what we want. We want the God who says, "My son, give me thy heart." A want it is in us as instinctive and as sure as George Eliot's instinctive "pre- judice in favour of milk, with which we all begin."

How amusing, if he will forgive the word, is Mr. Stock's pleading for the "one superstition" which he has "faith" in. To be sure, it is faith, and he lives by that faith of his, so far as his outlook upon existence has any true life, joy, or hope in it. I speak from his letters, for 1 have not read his book.—I am, Sir, &c.,